Is Your Breath a Sign of a Serious Health Problem?

Posted By The Szikman Dental Group, P.C. || 29-Jun-2015

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, is more than a social inconvenience; it may be a sign of a serious health concern. On the other hand, most instances of bad breath are caused by consuming certain foods or drinks, like garlic and coffee.

So how do you tell if your breath needs more than a mint? Medical experts have linked breath odor to a variety of health problems, primarily poor hygiene. Without proper brushing and flossing, your teeth and gums may contribute to bad breath.

Bad Breath and Periodontal Disease

Bad breath can indicate gum disease (Periodontal Disease). Look for these indicators of gum disease:

  • Swollen gums (they may appear red)
  • Gums are sensitive and bleed easily
  • Painful chewing, sensitive teeth
  • Gums receding, teeth appear longer

Other Conditions Linked to Bad Breath

According to researchers, diabetes can contribute to bad breath. If you take good care of your teeth and gums but still experience bad breath, talk to your doctor about other possible symptoms of diabetes.

In addition to diabetes,bad breath may indicate sleep apnea. Sleep apnea (typified by snoring while asleep and drowsiness during the day), affects approximately 18 million Americans and is often linked to bad breath.

Just like snoring, bad breath is normal – but only to a certain extent. When you sleep, your salivary glands produce less saliva. With less saliva in your mouth, odor-causing bacteria will multiply. If you sleep with your mouth open (common for individuals with sleep apnea), bacteria has even more opportunity to grow, which can lead to noticeably bad breath.

Respiratory infections can also cause bad breath. When you’re sick, inflamed tissue in the lungs and esophagus may trigger the production of mucus and bacteria-feeding cells. Unusually sour breath may indicate the flue, bronchitis, or a sinus infection.

Need a dentist in Atlanta? Schedule your first appointment with The Szikman Dental Group, P.C. today!